John Calipari has been making his rounds all over ESPN today and was just recently on Sports Center when he dropped a bomb for Big Blue Nation:
He’s been cleared to practice, cleared to play games. Everything is good to go.
The “He” that Cal is referring to is Nerlens Noel, of course. This is the first that I, or anybody else for that matter, has heard that Noel is 100% cleared to play by the NCAA.
John Calipari made a similar statement last week during the basketball media day. When asked if his star center was ready to go, Calipari said that if there was a game tomorrow that Noel would play.
Is Cal playing mind games with the NCAA or has he really heard some good news? I have been vocal about wondering when a coach was finally going to stand up to the NCAA and buck their extremely flawed system. After the UNC and Duke debacles, it would seem that eventually someone would challenge the power and the authority that the NCAA wields.
This is all speculation by me at this point, but one thing is for sure, it seems that Calipari is going to play Nerlens Noel, one way or the other, the NCAA be damned.
Update: The University of Kentucky has released an official statement on Noel’s eligibility to play:
“No update on Nerlens Noel. We will not confirm eligibility of any student-athlete until the first day of competition.”
So there you have it. Kind of. Still not sure if Cal knows something or if he is just playing mind games with the NCAA.
Here is Calipari on ESPN and his exact comments:
Your move, NCAA.